As for Eretria, some say that it was colonized from Triphylian Macistus by Eretrieus, but others say from the Eretria at Athens, which now is a marketplace. There is also an Eretria near Pharsalus. In the Eretrian territory there was a city Tamynae, sacred to Apollo; and the temple, which is near the strait, is said to have been founded by Admetus, at whose house the god served as an hireling for a year. In earlier times Eretria was called Melaneïs and Arotria. The village Amarynthus, which is seven stadia distant from the walls, belongs to this city. Now the old city was razed to the ground by the Persians, who "netted" the people, as Herodotus1
says, by means of their great numbers, the barbarians being spread about the walls (the foundations are still to be seen, and the place is called Old Eretria); but the Eretria of today was founded on it.2
As for the power the Eretrians once had, this is evidenced by the pillar which they once set up in the temple of Artemis Amarynthia. It was inscribed thereon that they made their festal procession with three thousand heavy-armed soldiers, six hundred horsemen, and sixty chariots. And they ruled over the peoples of Andros, Teos, Ceos, and other islands. They received new settlers from Elis; hence, since they frequently used the letter r
not only at the end of words, but also in the middle, they have been ridiculed by comic writers. There is also a village Oechalia in the Eretrian territory, the remains of the city which was destroyed by Heracles; it bears the same name as the Trachinian Oechalia and that near Tricce, and the Arcadian Oechalia, which the people of later times called Andania, and that in Aetolia in the neighborhood of the Eurytanians.